GMO’s, or Genetically Modified Organisms, have been a subject of heated debate in recent years. These
genetically engineered foods are also sometimes referred to as GE (genetically engineered), HT
(herbicide tolerant) – commonly referred to as “Round-Up Ready,” or BT crops. BT is an abbreviation of
Bacillus thuringiensis, which is a bacterium found in soil and used as a pesticide.
An estimated 70% of processed foods in America contain ingredients derived from the aforementioned
crops and there is no requirement for anything containing genetically engineered ingredients to be
labeled to allow consumers to know the ingredients have been genetically modified.
While it might seem impossible, there is a way to avoid GMO foods. If you can’t grow your own food
from non-GMO seeds, you can purchase organically grown produce. The law currently prevents organic
food producers from growing and selling GMO foods.
What’s the big deal?
GMO crops are widespread in the United States. However, there are approximately thirty other
countries in the world that have banned the use of GMO crops or at the very least, have tough
restrictions surrounding the production of GMO crops. They’ve taken these measures because there is
no conclusive scientific evidence that GMO foods are in fact safe for human consumption. And because
companies are not required to label their products as containing GMO foods, it is impossible to study
the effects that GMO related foods have on the human body.
What about the environment?
Round-Up Ready crops were created with the intention of being able to survive the application of the
chemical. In other words, the ‘edible’ foods wouldn’t be harmed when farmers spray Round-Up among
them to kill weeds. Unfortunately, many weeds seemed to have developed a tolerance to this.
Known as the “Super Weeds,” they became resistant to the application of Round-Up. This forced many
farmers to increase the amount of Round-Up that they used in order to eradicate the weeds and many
farmers also began using a combination of Round-Up and other chemicals, as Round-Up alone proved to
be ineffective. This situation has led to potential plans to create more genetically modified organisms
that will be resistant to other chemicals, a harmful trend.
Genetically modified crops that were developed to be insect resistant are also proving to be an issue. A
study conducted by Iowa State University found that GMO corn crops grown in the state that were
engineered to resist specific pests aren’t holding up to their claims. In fact, just as the “Super Weeds”
developed a resistance to Round-Up and other chemicals, these “Super Bugs” are developing a
resistance to the insecticides that have been spliced into the genes of the plants. If more genetically
engineered crops are going to be created to handle the issue of weeds, how many more will be created
to combat insects? And how much more pesticides will farmers be spraying on their crops to try and
How can I avoid GMO foods?
We have always been told to wash our fruits and vegetables prior to consuming them. But when the
pesticides are contained in the actual body of the produce, it cannot be washed away. While there have
been some animal studies to show the negative effects of GMO food consumption, there is no
conclusive evidence to prove that these genetically modified foods are safe for humans. However,
common sense alone should be a good enough reason not to want to consume foods that contain
pesticides or that have a resistance to harmful chemicals, such as those found in Round-Up.
Growing your own organic produce from non-GMO seed sources is a great option, if you’re able to. If
you don’t have the room to grow your own food, you can and should purchase organically grown
produce. Organic farmers may not produce genetically modified crops and are under strict guidelines
and a watchful eye to ensure that they’re growing healthy, nutritional and organic produce that is free
of genetically modified organisms and harmful toxins such as herbicides and pesticides, just the way
Source from: http://massnutrition.org/